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Tuesday, 18 May 1965

Senator GORTON - I saw this morning in the " Canberra Times " a report of the statement I made in Canberra last night to the conference held to celebrate the International Co-operation Year. I was delighted to see that it was, as far as I could tell, a completely factual and completely accurate account and a perfectly concise presentation of exactly what I said, which is not usually found in newspapers. That answers the first point which the honorable senator raised. I endeavoured to put forward the proposition that it had been hoped that the United Nations, and its predecessors in various forms, might have shown how there could be some alternative to unilateral power and force as a means of settling international disputes. But I pointed out how the use of the veto, the extension of the veto, the examples of small countries, such as Hungary, which had not been able to be helped, and other illustrations all indicated that in the political field power politics was still with us and that the United Nations had not provided the answer which some people had hoped it might provide.

I went on to point out that there were avenues of co-operation between nations, which are being helped and assisted by this Government at other levels, which might eventually, one might hope, lead to the growth of what was originally hoped for. This, as I pointed out in the first part of my speech, was not an attack on the United Nations but merely an endeavour to examine factually the organisation which had been set up to see how it could work, what could be expected of it and how it could be improved. The assistance which the Australian Government is giving in fields of cooperation, not only through the United Nations but through the Colombo Plan and from other sources, is, I think, a practical step in real international co-operation.

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